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Dropbox acquires stealthy data analytics startup Parastructure

Dropbox acquires stealthy data analytics startup Parastructure | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it

Dropbox has acquired Parastructure, a stealthy startup that devised software for analyzing companies’ data, VentureBeat has confirmed.


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Samsung Group Reportedly Acquires LoopPay for $250 million

Samsung Group Reportedly Acquires LoopPay for $250 million | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Samsung users, only a few months till the company treats you with the payment facility.
Richard Platt's insight:

Primarily, LoopPay was acquired to rival the Apple Inc. Pay service, and the Google Wallet. Following the acquisition, users will be able to make payments. Moreover, merchants wouldn’t even need to retool their machines, as they need to for the Apple Pay. In simpler terms, you can now make payment off your phone at millions of locations around the world

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Apple faces $20B Tax Bill

Apple faces $20B Tax Bill | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Apple Inc. may face a tax bill approaching the US$20 billion dollar range if the worst case scenario plays out with the European Commission
Richard Platt's insight:

Apple Inc. may face a tax bill approaching the US$20-billion-dollar mark if the worst-case scenario plays out with the European Commission.  The commission’s investigation of the tech giant’s tax structure in Ireland began in June 2013, but Apple recently disclosed that risks associated with an unfavourable ruling could be material.  -  J.P. Morgan analyst Rod Hall believes Apple’s recent disclosures may be leading up to a significant decision by the European Commission.  -  In June 2014, the European Commission concluded that Apple’s tax structure may represent illegal state aid.

Hall estimates the potential recovery could be about US$19 billion, assuming a full Irish tax rate of 12.5 per cent is applied to approximately $153 billion of relevant Apple profits over 10 years.

However, the analyst considers that amount largely irrelevant for Apple’s share price given its US$193 billion in cash holdings.

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How The IoE Is Helping 'Unbanked' Citizens Around the World

How The IoE Is Helping 'Unbanked' Citizens Around the World | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Fortunately, with some low-income countries quickly adopting mobile phone use, financial services such as mobile payments and money transfers are becoming accessible for communities that would otherwise be precluded from banking privileges....
Richard Platt's insight:

Unbanked, underbanked, underrepresented, and nearly uncounted are a few adjectives describing three quarters of the world's population  It's clear that not only is financial inclusion good for financial technology companies, it's good for local economies, emerging markets, and the world's prosperity on a macro level.

That being said, there's still a lot of work to be done.   -  "For the most part, the greatest obstacle is awareness to the alternatives to banking and the know-how to gain access to these alternatives,' says Hancock. "Another challenge is the verification process of potential account holders that are not "well documented". However, people are beginning to learn that the problem exists, thanks to the good work of the Gates Foundation, the World Bank, and others. But there seems to be more talk about the problem and less about the solutions providers. There just aren't enough reporters and bloggers covering solutions to this topic. It is a big social issue that doesn't get the kind of attention it deserves."

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Apple Pay trounces PayPal and Google Wallet in customer satisfaction

Apple Pay trounces PayPal and Google Wallet in customer satisfaction | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
A new Changewave survey shows that when it comes to mobile payments, Apple Pay remains the player to beat. With each passing month, the number of Apple Pay users continues to increase.

Via Jesús Hernández
Richard Platt's insight:

With each passing month, the number of Apple Pay users continues to increase.  Usage numbers aside, it’s also worth noting that Apple Pay users are seemingly much happier with their mobile payment experience than users who opt for rival payment services like PayPal or Google Wallet.   Even among users who currently don’t use any type of mobile payment service, the survey found that iPhone users are far more likely than other smartphone users to to use such a service in the future. The survey specifically found that 34% of iPhone users are open to using a mobile payment service compared to just 16% of Android owners, 13% of BlackBerry owners, and 5% of Windows Phone owners.

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Apple Pay Plans to Launch in Canada This Fall

Apple Pay Plans to Launch in Canada This Fall | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Apple Inc. is planning to launch its mobile payments service in Canada this fall, marking the start of its international expansion of Apple Pay, according to people familiar with the matter.
Richard Platt's insight:

The banks are open to an agreement, but they aren’t happy with Apple’s fee proposals and are concerned about security vulnerabilities like the ones that U.S. banks experienced as they rolled out the service, the people said.

Lenders in discussions with Apple include Royal Bank of Canada,Toronto-Dominion Bank,Bank of Nova Scotia,Bank of Montreal,Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and National Bank of Canada, the people said. Together, those banks account for more than 90% of retail bank accounts, which could provide Apple with near ubiquity upon launch if final agreements are reached.

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American Express considering facial recognition technology

American Express considering facial recognition technology | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
American Express is testing facial recognition and wearable technology to potentially integrate into its mobile apps in an effort to increase business growth.
Richard Platt's insight:

The credit card giant is looking to deploy certain technologies to appeal to those customers who are typically underserved by financial services companies, including mobile users who are looking to use digital payments, those with little or no credit, and consumers who prefer not to use credit and charge cards at all.
The move to experiment with emerging technologies comes as American Express and other veteran financial firms face have been experiencing significant competition from upstart payment systems.
-  Facial recognition development is showing considerable promise at the lab, as director of technical delivery David Baldie has been experimenting new methods to capture and authenticate face images accurately and rapidly on a mobile device.  Baldie said that customers could potentially use the technology when performing sensitive transactions via mobile device.  -   However, there are challenges regarding the technology. For instance, users require visual cues on screen to ensure they are positing the camera properly, and the authentication process of sending the image to a server to match it against a baseline image must be considerably fast and accurate.  -  Though the technology is not yet at the point of launch, the lab is far enough along to have demonstrated a version to senior managers last month.

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Ingenico Group, Intel Partner to Bring Secure Payments to the IoT

Ingenico Group, Intel Partner to Bring Secure Payments to the IoT | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Ingenico Group and Intel collaborate to provide secure payment acceptance for the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Both companies will jointly develop a mobile tablet that supports EMV1 and NFC payment functionalities,
Richard Platt's insight:

According to Intel, at present, banks are responsible for fraudulent activity on credit cards which has cost them US$14 billion in year 2013 alone. By October 2015, banks are expected to require retail merchants to upgrade their POS equipment to support the EMV chip cards, failing which they will be taking the responsibility for recovering the funds lost to fraud.  "The shift in liability this October will be a major milestone in the United States for banks and credit card companies, but especially for retailers. Intel and Ingenico Group are working to bridge the retail experience and security gap while also making sure devices are easy to deploy and manage so we don't create new burdens for the merchants." - Doug Davis, Intel SVP & GM, IoT Group

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Apple Pay Nearing Triple Digit Milestone

Apple Pay Nearing Triple Digit Milestone | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
For Apple Pay, it's 98 and counting. Apple confirmed on Tuesday (March 3) that 17 more financial institutions have gone live with full Apple Pay support in the

Via Kenneth Carnesi
Richard Platt's insight:

To be clear, that’s not the number of banks and credit unions that have signed contracts to support Apple Pay — just the ones that have completed the transition. At least 500 more Visa card issuers — just Visa, not MasterCard — are in the process of setting up the necessary new technology, including tokenization for Apple Pay, Visa CEO Charlie Scharf told analysts

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Google Wallet to Be Preinstalled on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile Phones

Google Wallet to Be Preinstalled on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile Phones | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Google acquired technology and IP from a mobile-payment venture Softcard. The move places Google in partnership with major backers of the technology.
Richard Platt's insight:

The company on Feb. 23 said it has acquired technology and intellectual property from Softcard, a mobile payments venture established in 2010 by Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA. Softcard's near-field communication (NFC) payment technology will power future versions of Google's Wallet app for mobile payments, the two companies said. Under the technology acquisition arrangement, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile will preinstall Wallet on smartphones running KitKat or higher versions of Android, starting later this year. 

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Samsung’s Move to Payments Creates Friction With Google

Samsung’s Move to Payments Creates Friction With Google | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Samsung's shift into services such as mobile payments creates tension with Google, creator of the Android mobile-operating system used in Samsung smartphones.

Via Kenneth Carnesi
Richard Platt's insight:

It won’t be the first time Samsung tried to build its own software platform atop Android. For at least two years, Samsung has been investing heavily in an enterprise-security platform called Knox. But the companies increasingly are working together on security and Google last year said it would embed parts of Knox in an upcoming Android update. That effectively left Samsung with less to differentiate its devices from those of other Android-powered smartphones.

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Samsung Ready to Go Head to Head With Apple Pay

Samsung Ready to Go Head to Head With Apple Pay | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Samsung is ready to challenge Apple Pay.
Richard Platt's insight:

"Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal," said JK Shin, president of Samsung 

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As the retail landscape changes, payments hardware is scrambling - Gigaom

As the retail landscape changes, payments hardware is scrambling - Gigaom | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Three months ago, Apple Pay kicked off a new flurry of excitement about contactless payments.

Via Kenneth Carnesi
Richard Platt's insight:

By example VeriFone has decided to make a kind universal point of sale system that will work with any kind of mobile device and mobile payments system.  Called the Mobile PAYware e355, the device has a built-in NFC reader and EMV chip reader, meaning it will accept contactless payments such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet or Softcard as well as new EMV smart chip cards, which will start replacing our old magnetic stripe cards this year. For good measure it also has a mag stripe reader so it can handle today’s credit cards as well as an optional barcode scanner that can read QR code-based payment systems like MCX CurrentC, a mobile wallet being promoted by big box retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. 

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Water Hero: protection from major pipe bursts & costly leaks

Water Hero: protection from major pipe bursts & costly leaks | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Plumbing catastrophe avoidance for everyone. Stops pipe bursts & small costly plumbing leaks. SmartPhone controlled & easy install
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Google, Facebook Top Apple at IoT

Google, Facebook Top Apple at IoT | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
With their algorithms and troves of personal-profile data, Google and Facebook are set to monetize those data streams.
Richard Platt's insight:

According to Barron's:  The device type that will experience the most churn in calendar 2015 and 2016 will be computers due to contracting life cycles, where Google is poised to gain the most operating system share as well. Time series application data fortify our view that Google better positioned than Apple for Internet of Things (IoT). In our Apple initiation, we cited the IoT as a long-term threat to Apple as we believe the most viable route to monetizing the IoT not to be in the sale of the items at a premium price to alternative items, but the synthesis of their data streams.  -  With their advanced machine-learning technology algorithms, rich troves of personal-profile data, and more efficient data centers than what Apple has built, we believe Google and Facebook ( FB ) are better positioned to synthesize those data streams and thus monetize them. Fortifying the point regarding rich personal data is Google’s share as the primary Web browser across all three device types has been increasing over the past three years. Also, Google’s share as the primary video streaming app and productivity software has increased across all three device types over the past three years.

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Lawmaker Wants to Connect More Federal Buildings to the IoT

Lawmaker Wants to Connect More Federal Buildings to the IoT | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Under the bill, the energy secretary would learn from smart buildings in the private sector, and apply those practices to federal buildings.
Richard Platt's insight:

Federal buildings may be the newest "smart" entities to join the Internet of Things, if a recently introduced Senate bill gains traction. Last month, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced legislation encouraging more federal agencies to embrace new technologies -- digital air conditioning units that can be controlled and monitored remotely or window blinds that automatically raise or lower depending on incoming sunlight, for instance -- in an effort to cut energy use.  - Which means more government $$ will likely help fund development of more of the IoT.

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How Big Data Has Changed Finance

How Big Data Has Changed Finance | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
The vast proliferation of data and increasing technological complexities continues to transform the way industries operate and compete.
Richard Platt's insight:

Within financial services specifically, the majority of criticism falls onto data analysis. The sheer volume of data requires greater sophistication of statistical techniques in order to obtain accurate results. In particular, critics overrate signal to noise as patterns of spurious correlations, representing statistically robust results purely by chance. Likewise, algorithms based off of economic theory typically point to long-term investments opportunities due to trends in historical data. Efficiently producing results supporting a short-term investment strategy are inherent challenges in predictive models.

The Bottom Line  -  Big data continues to transform the landscape of various industries, particularly financial services. Many financial institutions are adopting big data analytics in order to maintain a competitive edge. Through structure and unstructured data, complex algorithms can execute trades using a number of data sources. Human emotion and bias can be minimized through automation; however, trading with big data analysis has its own specific set of challenges The statistical results produced so far have not been fully embraced due to the field’s relative novelty. However, as financial services trend towards big data and automation, sophistication of statistical techniques will increase accuracy.

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The security of smartphone payments

The security of smartphone payments | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
 THE Apple Watch has been available to order for less than a week, but by some estimates one million have already been sold. Technophiles are watching closely...
Richard Platt's insight:

Smartphone-based payment systems are not the only way to improve security. America has lagged behind other rich economies in adopting chip-and-PIN cards, for which a passcode must be entered to authorise each transaction. By October 2015, all retailers and banks must at least accept chip-and-signature cards, or absorb all losses from fraudulent swipes (that is only a start however, PINs being more secure than signatures). Chip-and-PIN should reduce fraud, experts reckon, but will not eliminate it. Chipped cards deter fraud by requiring a legitimate chip, but the chips can be forged, and criminal organisations regularly manage the feat. Mobile payments, by contrast, deter fraud by creating an unforgeable transaction for each purchase. If the Apple Watch nudges consumers toward mobile-payment options, that may just call time on widespread credit-card fraud.

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Atom Bank looks to wearable technology despite concerns

Atom Bank looks to wearable technology despite concerns | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
wearable technology, even though there are worries with regards to the resistance that consumers might have toward it.Mullen feels that this digital lender
Richard Platt's insight:

CEO Mullen explained that through the app that Atom Bank is developing, customers will be capable of using their bank services no matter what device they prefer, regardless of whether it is a smartwatch, a smartphone, or over the traditional internet. He stated that “I think we will be one of many looking to optimise better services. The customer has to buy this technology and it’s about whether we respond or not,” and that “I think the Apple Watch is one example, but portable technology generally has a long way to go.”

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Intel, Broadcom Look to Secure IoT Payments

Intel, Broadcom Look to Secure IoT Payments | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Intel is partnering with Ingenico to develop devices to secure credit card payments, while Broadcom's new chips offer integrated NFC capabilities.
Richard Platt's insight:

The announcement (of Intel and Ingenico Group to develop a tablet that will support near-field communication (NFC) and Eurocard, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chip cards—payment methods that banks use to help thwart credit card fraud) comes a day after Broadcom unveiled new microcontrollers (MCUs) with integrated NFC support to enable a range of connected devices—including those that make up the Internet of things (IoT), as well as PCs and point-of-sale (POS) terminals—to securely accept mobile payments. Intel is making moves in this space to outflank many others in the chips offer integrated NFC capabilities, this is actually quite strategic and tactical on their part, well done Intel.

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The Future of Mobile Wallets by Forrester Research, Inc. - Vibes

The Future of Mobile Wallets  by Forrester Research, Inc. - Vibes | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
According to Forrester Research, Inc. the mobile wallet shift is coming. Well over 50% of adult smartphone users want to store their loyalty program points, rewards, coupons, offers and more in their mobile wallets.

Via Kenneth Carnesi
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Downloadable report from Forrester Research

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Chip makers AMS and ST team up for wearable NFC payments

Chip makers AMS and ST team up for wearable NFC payments | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
Technology used to boost the NFC signal in Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is now being made available for wide range of wearable device and mobile phone makers

Via Paulo Gervasio
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Google removes Wallet's biggest roadblock — carrier buy-in

Google removes Wallet's biggest roadblock — carrier buy-in | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
In a strange turn of events Google is striking up a partnership with wireless carriers to make tap-to-pay technology pre-installed on all Android devices. Google Wallet announced a deal today with ...

Via Kenneth Carnesi
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Bad news for Windows Phone–Google set to buy NFC payments provider Softcard

Bad news for Windows Phone–Google set to buy NFC payments provider Softcard | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is negotiating for the purchase of US mobile payments provider Softcard by May this year. The effort would be to bolster Google Wallet, which has been lo...

Via Kenneth Carnesi
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Apple Pay to Get Google Rival

Apple Pay to Get Google Rival | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it
According to new reports, Google is working on a new service to take on Apple Pay after the iPhone payment system overshadowed Google Wallet.

With the help of Square, Google has been testing a new mobile payment option, reported The Information,...
Richard Platt's insight:

With the help of Square, Google has been testing a new mobile payment option, reported The Information, citing people involved in or briefed about the service. Codenamed Plaso, this service would allow people carrying Android phones to pay at retailers without needing to take your phone out of your purse or pocket.  

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Google may be acquiring its old NFC payment rival

Google may be acquiring its old NFC payment rival | Crowd Funding, Micro-funding, New Approach for Investors - Alternatives to Wall Street | Scoop.it

“Remember when the big battle in mobile payments was Google versus the carriers? Or more precisely, Google Wallet versus Isis?”


Via Jesús Hernández
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